I have two children. Big Brother is 3 ½ and Little Sister is 1 and 4 months. I have had 2 pregnancies and 2 births. And I have met the black hole that is postpartum depression. I initially wrote about this early after having Little Sister and to be honest, I played it down then too. I was embarrassing, and scared and it was something I really wasn’t proud of. But it’s there, and over a year later I have finally stopped feeling the repercussions of it. I never admitted to anyone that I still felt this black hole creeping in. But that’s over, I will be open and honest about it from here on out. I am not less of a mom for this. It has taken me a long time to know this in my heart.
PPD happens to many many women. It’s not always severe and medicated, but it doesn’t make it any less real, or less scary. My brain had become a black hole. My emotions a black hole. I walked around like a zombie, and cried and cried and cried. It was terrible. I was truly embarrassed. I hid it from my family and friends. Having a baby was supposed to be joyful… what kind of a mother was I that I cried and was overwhelmed and wanted to run away. I don’t mean would rather be somewhere else, but I mean run away, not come back.
To get through I tried to remember that doctors suggest sleep. Thankfully Big Brother was still in school 2 days a week, so I tried to sleep as much as I can. My last days of my extended stay in the hospital were terrible. I was alone and scared and didn’t sleep. I was awake all day and all night. That’s where it started for me. My husband was amazing, though. The day we came home, he watched both kids… alone. I slept all day, waking only to feed the baby. And he prayed for me. He prayed for me for weeks and he put up with all of my hopeless feelings and all my crying. He encouraged me to talk to someone when I thought I needed to. He did not judge me.
PPD is scary. The black hole seemed endless and emotionless and I felt alone and embarrassed. I never thought of harming myself or the baby, but I did think to run away. Truthfully, I am terrified that if I have another child it will be worse, and I don’t know if I could make it through that again.
But, I have learned some things.
- Never be embarrassed. You are not alone in this. Don’t be scared to tell friends and family. You need them.
- Talk to someone. Don’t feel like you have to fix it yourself.
- Find help with your kids too.
- Pray, pray and pray some more.
No, these rules won’t stop these feelings, but they are things I wish I knew before I had my daughter. I never understood how awful and scary PPD was, until I knew it firsthand. If you need to talk, leave me a message. I will listen.